By , on September 26, 2012

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5 out of 5


  • Buttery smooth animations, now includes satisfying facial expressions for those moments of victory/defeat.
  • Online multiplayer; limited, but fast-paced for those who like a quick competitive challenge.
  • Further hybridization of controls; retains familiarity of console setup, while taking advantage of the touch-based system.


  • Small audio glitches; audience/commentators cutting out at odd points.
  • Mostly small changes across the board; no need to rush in to FIFA 13 if you’ve just grabbed the previous version.
  • iPhone/iPod Touch control connectivity for the iPad sketchy; prone to crashing and input latency even at close distances.


FIFA 13 continues the tradition of ‘fixing’ previous iterations by only a small degree, thankfully the sum-weight of these changes turns out to be quite a lot, making it a worthy pick up for fans of Football games.

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The waves keep crashing against the beach; the sun keeps rising; and the moon’s orbit slowly decays to an eventual stop; such are the many natural things we can can count on to happen every day, including Electronic Arts’ inevitable update to the FIFA franchise.

If you detect a slightly sour bitterness on the palette, don’t worry, it’s just a sore point borne of the cyclical nature of the game industry.

There is, however, a benefit to this kind of repetitive updating on the iOS platform - notably each year we are provided with slightly more powerful devices to use and the developers involved become better versed with touch-based gaming; the end result is always a step forward.

FIFA 13 is no exception, and in fact trumps its prior iterations handily by merging the usual spit-shine-and-polish approach with brand new features that are definitely worthy of praise.

Foremost is the inclusion of an online mode to play matches against random opponents or against your Origin friends. A ‘ladder’ of sorts ranks you and your friends, and you can expect a speedier, more ‘arcade’ feeling experience should you take the plunge.

For those who like to get in to the nitty-gritty, Manager Mode returns, complete with fine-tuning that makes life easier on the management side of things, while throwing in a few more curve-balls (injuries, for example, are far more common).

Gameplay itself is very smooth, and while the graphics haven’t seen much of an upgrade, small touches such as the inclusion of facial expressions gives the players more life (especially on replays) and the crowd feels less like a spooky stadium of cardboard cut-outs.

Your choice of controls will be determined by how many of the automatic or manual options you decide to keep on or off, but the hybridization of the console and touch-based innovations continues in FIFA 13. Touch-hold-and-swipe returns for those who prefer finessed maneuvers, while the inclusion of the skill-move grid makes for a complex, but satisfying way of out-playing the AI opponents, who have been given a subtle boost thanks to the inclusion of other player-helpers such as calling for a second defender.

Also, if you happen to have an iPad lying around you can use your iPhone as a controller, making for a not-so-cheap, but entertaining portable console setup (if you can stand the Bluetooth input latency).

Ultimately FIFA 13 only takes things up a notch across the board, but seeing as the game is already at a high-point for fans of Football, the changes ensure that it retains this post while hinting at even greater things to come next year.


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